When we first start taking photos, we focus on having enough light all the time.  We are tired of having blurred images of our kids running or even playing in the house due to lack of light.  But as we grow and learn how to “freeze the action”, it’s easy to still stay stuck in this mentality on needing to have tons of light.  As I do my critiques for the online class, I see the women finding more and more freedom and understanding in “what kind” of light to have in a photo, “what degree” of light to aim for, and how to use shadows to enhance the depth and richness.

Without shadows, without some element of darkness, the light is unable to be defined.  There is a flatness to the photo.  Take a look at this flower I shot with my iPhone.

Below is the same flower, but the below photo was taken with the morning sun illuminating the flower.  No fancy cameras used.  It was also shot with my iPhone to demonstrate that understanding light will bring the more transformation then any kind of technology.  Look at what a difference it makes when we use the light to our benefit.

To just have “enough” light is not enough.  To consider how you want to “use” the light…that is a different question all together.  To allow shadows to show, depth to be revealed, darkness defining where the light is–that is courage.

Try this exercise today with your smart phone.  Take a photo of a flower during noon.  Take a photo of the same flower with morning light or sunset light behind it, and see what a difference it makes!  Your creative spirit will sing!

I’ll be posting more examples on my Instagram feed!




5 Comments: “The Difference Light AND Shadows Make!”

  1. This is SO true! Biggest thing I’ve changed since taking the magical light course! I search for interesting, unique and sometimes minimal light! It has transformed my photos!

  2. Love! Thanks! Too bad my smartphone is now damaged. :(

  3. Me Ra says:

    Kaila!!! THAT is FANTASTIC!!!! Girl, you MADE my day!!!! I love that our Online Course created a perspective shift that is lasting for you. LOVE IT!!!!

    And Sara, I am really and truly going to go dark! I just had to get this poll made to leave everyone with. That’s tomorrow! :) But I couldn’t not share this too! Love you girl!


  4. This is awesome because at 5 AM today I got up and read through my lessons from the June class and then went walking later to practice… My favorite part of the day was playing with light on 2 roses I found in a forgotten part of the garden….after reading your post I feel like I am right where I should be today!

  5. Karyn Price says:

    I have spent SO MUCH time hiding from the light – worrying about harsh shadows and bright reflections. HUGE HUGE HUGE A-ha moment from the online class and reinforced with this blog. Thank you! So much to practice!